Buy a Record, Make a Difference is a new series we have created to help local musicians generate income during COVID-19. It is based on the principle that we should support and reward the hard work local artists have already put into recordings, as it is an immensely difficult undertaking to be creating new material under current circumstances. There is currently a lot of emphasis on livestreaming and innovation in our industry, and while those things absolutely have their place, we think it’s also important to boost projects that have already been completed.
In each post, we’ll ask a local artist a series of the same questions, give them the opportunity to talk about recordings they’re proud of, and ask them to talk about other local musicians whose work they admire. It’s our hope that you’ll take the time to listen to & purchase the work of local artists, or at the very least share their work with others.
1. Who are you?
I am a jazz pianist/composer/instructor at VCC. I lead a trio, a quartet, and a quintet. My trio and quintet have each released one CD as well as several shows for CBC Radio. In addition to my own ensembles, I have performed in groups led by Jill Townsend, Cory Weeds, John Korsrud, James Danderfer, Laura Crema, Alan Matheson, Mike Allen, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Phoenix Chamber Choir. I’ve also been on faculty at Vancouver Community College in the school of music since 2000.
2. Describe your music as best you can.
My compositions draw influences from a range of composers such as Duke Ellington, Scriabin, Kenny Wheeler, Jobim as well as music from the Motown and pop genres.
3. What’s your latest recording (or a recording you’d like to promote)? Where can people get it?
4. Is there another local musician whose work you’d like to give a shout out to?
Jon Bentley… he plays tenor sax in my quartet. He is one of the most versatile musicians on the west coast, playing with great command of many styles. He can play straight-ahead jazz, electronic music, pop, and he is a great composer.